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fears and doubts and did what was hard. so today, when the challenges we face start to seem overwhelming or even impossible, let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation. it is who we are as americans. it is how this country was built. ( cheers and applause ) and-- and if our parents and grandparents could toil and struggle for us, if they could raise beams of steel to the sky, send a man to the moon, connect the world with a touch of a button, then surely we can keep on sacrificing and building for our own kids and grand kids,
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right. ( applause ) and if so many brave men and women could wear our country's uniform and sacrifice their lives for our most fundamental rights, then surely we can do our part as citizens of this great democracy to exercise those rights. surely we can get to the polls on election day and make our voices heard. ( cheers and applause ) if-- if farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire, if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores, if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote, if a generation could defeat a depression and define greatness for all time, if a young preacher could lift us to
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the mountaintop with his righteous dreams, and a proud american can be who they are, and boldly stand at the altar with who they love, then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great american dream. ( cheers and applause ) >> yes, we can! >> because in the end, in the end, more than anything else, that is the story of this country, the story of unwavering hope grounded in unyielding struggle. that is what has made my story and barack's story and so many other american stories possible.
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and let me tell you something, i say all of this tonight, not just as first lady. no. not just as a wife. you see, at the end of the day, my most important title is still mom in chief. ( cheers and applause ). my-- my daughters are still the heart of my heart. and the center of my world. but let me tell you, today i have none of those worries from four years ago. no. not about whether barack and i were doing what was best for our girls because today, i know from experience that if i truly want to leave a better world for my daughters and for all of our sons and daughters, if we want to give all of our children a foundation for their dreams, and
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opportunities worthy of their promise, if we want to give them that sense of limitless possibility, the belief that here in america there is always something better out there if you're willing to work for it, then we must work like never before. ( cheers and applause ). and we must once again come together and stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward, my husband, our president, barack obama. ( cheers and applause ) thank you. god bless you. god bless america. >> first lady of the united states, the most popular women in the country. more popular than her husband. certainly more popular than anybody else in this room right now, judy. >> woodruff: i think by far, gwen, the woman who knows the
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president of the united states better than anyone in 22-23-minute speech, it was a blend of the personal, the biographical, the political, the inspirational, and a call to arms. making almost a plea at the end there to people to recognize that they need to go out and work to get her husband elected for this country to move ahead and do what it can do and be what it can be. >> she is more in love with her house now than four years ago and probably hoping everybody in this room and outside this room was more in love as well. >> you're right. i think it was a genius speech, true genius. it was sophisticate sophisticate without ever once mentioning mitt romney's name, she drew a stark, graphic, dramatic contrast between the two lives. she basically said, quoting-- without quoting barry swisser, the great oklahoma university coach, mitt romney was born on third base and thinks he hit a
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triple. that your values are formed by your life experience and that barack obama came, not from privilege or power or prominence, like mitt romney did, but he came from a disadvantaged background, that the values they learned and the values they lived by, i just thought it was-- i thought it was a genius. >> woodruff: david it was-- i mean, the message was tough. i mean, mark's right. she didn't use the word-- she didn't say the words, "mitt romney" but there was no mistaking who she was talking about. >> i thought it was an excellent speech. no harvard, no princeton. if sometimes people think obama is aloof, a little distant i think you cured that in the speech. to me the genius was the popularrative, it was a story, about the her anxietie anxietier he should run for president and that was the narrative around the whole speech and allowed her to segue into her own personal
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and into lily ledbetter, health care, bring up all the policies as part of the narrative. >> ifill: a lot more policy in this speech than we saw with ann romney. the line i wrote down when she said, "being president doesn't change who you are. it reveals who you are." it seemed like that was her job tonight to reveal who her husband is. >> it's a variation of the old line about the sports doesn't build character. reveals character. and this nthis case, she's talking about the pressure, the incredible pressure of being president. the crisis of being president. and it's absolutely true. i mean, character is truly destiny, and the presidency is a job that does reveal the flaws as well as the strength in anybody's character. and i thought she just made a great case for her husband tonight as a human being, which i-- i agree with david. i mean has been in a strange way, his weakest-- in spite of
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that marvelous smile that lights up the stage and the room, it's been-- it's been really an empty space in his public persona. >> woodruff: i think many people didn't expect that was going to be her job tonight, to make her-- to help us know more about who her husband is. he's been in office almost four years. >> i agree, and ann romney did have a different responsibility. hers was not policy. she had to try to fill out his personality and give a sense of who he was. but i just thought that-- i thought michelle obama hit it out of the park glent contrast the rest of night. there were a lot of tough speech, harry reid, deval patrick. they came out to the jugular, and then michelle obama could fill in the rest of the gaps. >> you're electing someone, we're going to spend four more years with these people and after this speech, i think a lot
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of people will say, yeah, i think i. the one kavil-- >> the one what. >> i don't know if you used that word right. is the speech has reinforces something we've heard all night, which was how much the crowd goes crazy and how passionate they are about abortion and gay marriage and the social issues. and tonight has been about that. and to me it should have been a lot more about economics, growth, and debt. and that better be the job of day two and day three because they did not do it here. >> woodruff: mark, do you agree that's a mistake. >> i will say this, barack obama and the democrats have to come out of this convention with something on bowles-simpson, something that says this is how we're moving forward. this is how we're going to deal with the crushing debt in this country. we talked about the next generation, and mrs. obama spoke elkently about it. if there's a greater
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responsibility we have, to bring solvency again to this government and this nation, i don't know what it is. >> ifill: by the way, the president we're told was watching this speech tonight at the white house with the daughters. no dramatic reveal at the end. now to ray suarez on the floor where all that red meat landed. >> you know, gwen, they gaveled this thing open in a half empty hall. by the time the first lady walked on to the stage, there wasn't room for another body in this arena but there was one funny moment before the speech began. the marshals moved throughout the aisles handing out "we love michelle" signs when the house lights were down and they were showing the biographical video. and as it moved to its finale, the assumption was that the next person out on the stage was going to be the first lady herself. so when the final frame faded to black, a woman walked out on stage, thousands of people leapt to their feet, and inhaled as it
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to begin shouting, and realized, oh, it's this military lady that's going to introduce the first lady, and literally said, by their thousands, "aw! >> woodruff: which they didn't mean. >> they had been built up for the main act and it wasn't about to start. >> woodruff: she was elaine brye, the mother of several service members and she was wearing the rhinestone-- maybe it was a diamond pin. ray, one thing i noticed is how many children there are out among the delegates. i've seen babies. i've seen toddlers. this is kind of unusual for a political. >> suarez: there are a lot of the kids here. a lot are the dates, if you will, of delegates who have come from other parts of the country to charlotte and are showing their families the ropes. but there are an awful lot of babies in arms, and having gone to things with babies in arms, i didn't find it terrifically fun. i'm not sure why they wanted to
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make an evening of it. but it is true. there are a lot of kids here. >> woodruff: it gave it more of a family atmosphere. rare, thanks so much. we will see you on the floor tomorrow night. and gwen, i guess for now that ends our coverage of this first night of the 2012 democratic national convention in charlotte, north carolina. >> ifill: we will be back tomorrow night at our regular newshour time and at 7:00 eastern time with our ongoing convention coverage with mark shields and david brooks, amre others. >> woodruff: we'll see you then. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: i'm gwen aisle. thank you, and good nit. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh vo:geico, committed to providing service to
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its auto insurance customers for over 70 years. more information on auto insurance at or 1-800-947-auto any time of the day or night. welcome to the program tonight from charlotte, north carolina the site of the democratic national convention. we begin with 2 authors written
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extensively about president obama and first lady jody cantor of the new york times and david march inis of the washington post. >> when barack obama became president, we 'might see that mellow michigan rhode island hawaiian quality. we've seen some of that for sheumplet he turned out to be the super competitive perfectist. the story wrote came out of years of hearing the stories the president grading everything, grading people. always wanting to be the best, even at small pursuits like bowling. there's a lot of advantage to this, the fact he worked so hard at everything that he wants to be the best is an admirable quality. that's part of what gave him the confidence to run for the president sivment yet there can also be a down side. >> he spent 10 years of his early life trying to figure himself out. all of the contradictions the
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world through at him. from the time he left hawaii at the age of 18 until the time he went to harvard law school at 28. very introspective. that period he did figure himself gave him the satisfied to get to the white house. >> charlie:when we continue this evening the two political parties with e.j. dionne and dan balz of the washington post. >> i think this election is more fundamental choice than we've seen in a very long time. maybe it's not unlike the gold water campaign. out there with a very hard position but the republicans have a advantage this time that goldwater didn't have. obama has a bad ee economy. we. >> charlie:we can included with frank how paid media is shape thg campaign. >> the truth is this election is going to be can decided by the main stream, people dead center who believe in a right of center
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economic approach and leave us alone on social issues. they're closer to barack obama on social and closer to mitt romney on economic issues. so they're torn. >> there's a difference betweend actually said, i don't care. i will follow this on election day that's it. the problem is neither candidate is speaking to them in the way they want to be spoken to or talking to them, the words that they want to hear. >> charlie:march inas balances and tee i don't know and frank when we continue. >> funding provided by the following. oe>> charlie:additiong
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provided by that's funders: >> c captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
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the special edition of charlie rose. >> this evening we continue our coverage of the democratic national convention from charlotte, north carolina. day one of the convention kicked off speeches from the first lady and new york mare corey booker. an you'llian castro. president obama spent the day campaigning in norfolk virginia. he will address the delegates thursday evening. two reporters have written extensively about barack and mish efl jodi kantor and author of the "obamas" author barack obama the story. i am meesed to have them both here on this program this evening. welcome. >> charlie:let me start with you, jodi. tell who is barack obama. you have written a piece about both of them. and his piece is about the competitiveness of him. >> we thought he might be a deliberative professor of a president. we might see that mellow
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hawaiian quality. we have seen that for sheumplet he turns out to be this super competitive perfectist. the story wrote came out of years of hearing these stories the president grading everything, graying people. always wanting to be the best, even at small pursuits like bowling and look, there's a lot of advantage to this, the fact that he worked so hard at everything that he weants to be the best is an admirable quality. it's part of what gave him the kfd to run for the presidency and yet there can also be a down side. the question is did he overestimate. >> charlie:his own abaibility. >> and that is what the romney campaign is arguing. he made promises he couldn't dplifer on. >> charlie:he's overconfident in terms of what he could do. >> he wanted to be not just president but a transformational president even though he had very little washington experience, economic experience,
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managerial experience, national security experience so the fact that he thought he could do it is still 4 years later kind of an amazing thing. the question who is barack obama, the other thing i'm thinking about he's somebody who has changed. part of this week is measure of what's happened in the last couple of yores. they're been gain, a more fluent and canny politician. there's been -- he wanted to be an original figure on the american scene to challenge the nature of politics. we've seen a lot of that. >> charlie:one of the 'big challenges he faces at this convention. let me go to the young barack obama you can chased around the world. did you see this quality. >> question i did. he came out of hawaii, so this's this laid back aspect to it. you didn't see any of the political part of him at all in high school or college compared
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to bill clinton who was running for office in high school his principal got sick of it. obama was playing pass ket ball and smoking pot. even in playing basketball he thought he was better than he was. he thought he was a starter. he was really the nice guy on the team. that's satisfied got him to the white house. it's an essential part of who he is and it came out of him actually just the opposite of clinton. barack obama spent 10 years of his early life trying to figure himself out. all of the contradiction tion that the world through at him. all of his internal contra did i goes from the time he left hawaii at age 18 until law school at 28. introspective. that period gave him the satisfied to get to the white house and got him in trouble. >> charlie:and also gave him the ability to write the book he did because he thought about who
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he was. >> in the way bill clinton never did. he was reinvent himself every morning. foregive himself and the rest of the world not deal with the contradictions of himself and he was able to get to the white house ak survivor, figuring out how to keep reinventing himself. that got him into trouble in the white house. two opposite figures. obamas is cool and clinton is hot and same temperature inside. that's what jodi brilliant piece proved again. >> charlie:had you look at him today in terms of how he sees romney. >> he's so can scaping in private increasing in public the last couple of days. there's a a kind of derision towards romney that comes through. he will sort of make fun of mitt romney talked about convention in tampa pa said it was like
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watching something on black and white tv, his point a throw back. >> charlie:back to the past. >> part of obama's frustration is the race is something pretty close to a dead heat. obama is a little ahead in the swing states. i think he can't believe that the republicans are doing as well as they are. look at mitt romney. >> charlie:they can't believe he's doing as well he is because of the economy. >> that's true. >> balances private. in private as well. but you know, that he has a kind of contempt. for the republican argument that even when he tries to be the kind above it all president has a way of bleeding through. >> sarcasm. i don't know contempt might be too strong but he's got this sar donic sarcastic nature internally he doesn't show. it's coming out now, you're right. that's something he got from his mother. >> charlie:what do the two
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think of each other, first bill clin on and barack obama. >> events have conspired to bring them together. clinton loves to be needed. >> charlie:they need each other. >> as much as he needs to be loved. >> charlie:right. >> obviously, in 2008 there was enormous tension there and so many interesting psychological dynamics to it. here we had bill clinton spent his entire political ka rear taking pride in his relationship with the african american community. quote unquote black president. now comes along a real potential black president. that was part of it. got in fights over race in vk r vk. the bitterness bill clinton had after the election cannot be underestimated. over 4 years, obama has needed clinton more and more. >> charlie:in the beginning he was disappointed. he was not called on more often.
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>> yes. >> charlie:bush called on him more than obama did. >> he was by -- it had chaipg the dynamics hilary working with president obama. >> part of what's interesting about the relationship, goes back such a long way much longer than people do. when barack obama was running toward senate there are quotes him saying '96 convention in chicago. >> charlie:the congressional race he ross. >> before that bobby rush endorsed him -- clinton endorsed bobby rush. >> charlie:that was the first election which he lost. >> and that was a special insult because for the president of the united states to interfere with a democratic primary clinton was the giant squashing like a bug. >> charlie:other days you during the impeachment. >> he saw clinton as part of a machine.
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'96 convention is for sale quoted in the newspaper saying. clinton's policy was just another way for throwing poor people under the bus. so he has this kind of philosophical objection to clin on earlier in his life that i'm not sure -- i'm not sure he has anything nor more. i don't think anybody has asked him in an interview. it would be fascinating to ask the president. >> qul he changed. >> charlie:changed his attitude about president clinton. >> and the clinton way of doing things. retail politics, compromise incrementalism. >> i think he learned those lessons. >> charlie:what is about president obama those who watch him closely he doesn't lie business. when business people come to the white house they feel like they simply are there to listen to him rather than to learn from them. and that he has a certain disdain from business. is that true or not?
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>> i think it's partly true. i think there's somewhat of a misperception about his own life story in business. his grandmother was a banker. even his mother was a banker. so there are these financial world connections in his own family. he did write a letter when he was in new york working for his one private enterprise, business international he was working for the enemy, quote unquote. so there was a little bit of that sensibility to him. >> charlie:a relationship businessmen that helped him get elected. >> very much so. >> charlie:he had the whole process. >> right. he considers him seaf writer. he has a writer's sensibility. there are some things he disdains and the business world is part that. >> charlie:other than the book he has written that everybody loved, the first book, is he a good writer? >> well -- >> charlie:one good story in him. >> that's always a good question
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about people (laughing) whether they can do it twice. i wouldn't call his second book well-written. >> charlie:that was campaign -- >> i looked at a lot of the letters he wrote as a young man. they're pretty well written. i would say he has another book in him but not about politics. that was the problem with the second book. it was a campaign document. >> charlie:he would define himself as a writer. >> what i mean by that he has a writer's sensibility where you're participating but observing at the same time so he's looking at himself playing politics and seeg the ser eelism of it at the same time he's participating. >> charlie:i once said david axle rod that -- we will see him again in charlotte. he was almost watching himself. >> yes. >> charlie:as he walked out there. >> that's such a hard quality to have in the president sivment the nature of the presidency is
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everybody is watching you. >> cite. >> and watching you every minute. thr times i heard about obama trying to step out of the role of presidency and be a normal person. valerie once told me can i ask you something not as the president of the united states but js as barack. >> charlie:there was also the story somebody wrote about when somebody went in and said, you know, what will we call you if you get elected thinking -- you can continue to call me barack. >> no way. that's just a lot of levels to that. >> there's been an interesting compromise because people feel kawlt between the informality. mr. president is -- a lot of friends have set eled on potis. >> charlie:what is the dynamic of michelle obama and barack. >> what's fascinating is how it
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changed in the white house. when you were interveeg the president on cbs i was struck by what he said had happened though his relationship in the white house. it was consistent when i had heard which is the white house does tend to draw presidential couples together. the pressure is extraordinary. only person you can trust let down your guard with. obamas such enormous challenges. before the white house they had more of a dialectic. this was fascinate bg their relationship. the president believed politics could be a vehicle for change and the political life could be livable. the first lady did not believe that politics was a valid viable way of creating social change, that political life was livable. all these years it's almost like their marriage is an extended debate where they're trying to figure out the answer to those questions. she, i think, has been converted.
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michelle obama who hesitated about moving to the white house, who felt unease with politics had a rough first year behind-the-scenes as first lady. has found she is fact kind of a master of the forum. >> charlie:and kind of popular. >> what i would say about michelle not in terms of their internal dynamics of the relationship but what she represents for barack obama and the country, he came out of a ip probable and exotic life and michelle is normality. she's the conventionali he wanted in his life. it's important she projects that tonight, that he's not this strange guy. he's part of a strong nuclear family. and i'm a regular person and so is he. >> charlie:hi spoke to them in an interview they very much wanted me to know or make the case for themselves that he very much liked campaigning, that he loved the ebb and flow, loved
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being out there, he loved all of that. yet at other times people say he doesn't, he has a certain distance and that he has a problem connecting. >> i think it's changed. the 2008 campaign was a two-year long forced march. it was terribly difficult it was a long primary. he did have to force himself to campaign. a funny thing happened in the white house you could hear in interviews by the end of the come pain everything in the obama world had a thank god this is over now we can go to the promised land, which is the white house. fast forward you start hearing people miss the campaign. we miss the excitement, magic, connect. >> charlie:missed the poetry. >> missed the poetry, et cetera, et cetera. the president seems much more enthused and assured.
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>> well he would rather be with loving crowd than with congress. >> and mitt romney has done a guy tban particular favor. we were talking how difficult it was for barack obama to connect until mitt romney turned owp on the scene. >> grading writing about give him. >> charlie:he said in an interview yesterday first 4 years was incomplete. that he hadn't finished what he wanted to to. i was interviewing paul ryan exactly that's a reason not to re-elect him right there. he couldn't complete the job therefore put somebody in the white house who can complete the job. how do you think he rates himself over the first four years? and can he take a realistic look? is he sew pragmatic and you have to be where he sits. >> so what grade would he giveh? i think he gave himself a b.
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>> basically. >> i think he knows what he didn't do. but what's fascinating. >> charlie:and has he has to do. >> what they're saying the problem was they weren't explaining it to the public, that's their whole thing now. if that's true, then thursday night is first big chance, do it. >> the thing that really came across in my reporting is how a feeling of lack of recognition of a kind of disconnect with the american people, heard about meetings where obama and his economic team would find out a lot of americans had thought they had raised taxes when in fact they lowered them. at one point obama makes this gesture of almost submission like what do we have to do to get the american people to understand what we really did. that's part of his come maint with the media. >> given the benefit of the
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doubt, for whatever failures they've ton in that regard, it's harder than ever for a president to break through all that stuff. that's not an sceut. >> charlie:even president clinton has said you have to have the capacity to smain things. some will argue if he explained health care better it would be more popular. it's easy to get the policy right than the story write. >> i think that goes to the obama you have written about. this guy is a fundamentally a solo artist. that's how he forged ahead. >> charlie:where did that come from, the lifestyle he had early? >> very much sew. >> charlie:and he had to depend on himself. >> completely. never knew his father. two loving he would lerl tbrand parents who had problems. >> charlie:i want bill clinton -- how intelligent he was and his answer was interesting, what i know is how to connect the dots, very useful in my
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profession of politics. how would you define either the similarity or the difference in the obvious intelligence of both of these people, one we'll hear on wednesday and one on thursday? >> barack obama has an amazing talent for synthesis. he is able to absorb. it is a joke that republicans say, oh he has to release his law school grades because they suspect they're not good. i suspect they're dazzling because his ability to process a complicated amount of information, to read a complicated scenario, to think deeply about that, it's deeply improssive. people in the white house speak of his respect masteries of incredibly difficult problems. >> i agree with that. it's the trap republicans go after those grades. smartest -- >> charlie:one of the smartest they ever had. >> i agree. he's very good at sin theys sis.
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he's not quite as good at sort of emotional intelligence. i think that he can connect with anybody. i really do but he's not a good actor at it as clinton was. >> charlie:not as good as emotional intelligence as clinton. >> he's the best i've ever seen. he can be terrific at reading you, loving you and go out of the room and say you're the biggest jerk he ever saw. >> charlie:is that a character trait? >> but they're both him. that's the thing. it's not like the one went out of the room and diminished you was like that's the real mean clinton, the guy dealing with you nicely was the same one. >> charlie:if you're in politics, it's a skill. >> and barack obama tends to show more of both krrchlt here is the interesting thing about experience, lots of republicans
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and give him lots of credit for leadership in foreign policy. suggesting that we overdo experience, we give it too much weight. and he's very much believed he was up for the job. >> i want to mention one for factor foreign policy involves a lot less of congress. this is a president who really does not love -- not love -- >> charlie:is it disdain, contempt? >> one of those very strong words for his feeling for congress for horse trading. >> charlie:some people said he should have more ability to reach out to these people as lyndon johnson could and others. we miech had a settlement of these great issues in terms of debt ceiling. >> it's interesting he thought he could unify washington not being a washington person. generally, the way things work in washington is the people who are most about bipart son are people with longest experience,
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invest a lot of time and very small gestures that don't bring an immediate pay i don't have that work in long run. that's not really for president. >> the irony there you have to have a certain imbalance to be good at that transactional poll ticks. bill clinton had it, you have to be needy. you have to need people so much. >> charlie:you want to be loved. >> so here is president obama who would rather be with his family from 6 to 8 at 9 than sh moozing with congressmen. from the outside world that's a he healthy thing, right but in politics it's not. >> charlie:also, you want to get the job done. you're there and it's the price you have to pay like campaigning. >> that's right. he's learning that. more than anything else, he wants to succeed, he wants to be a great president. whether they get there is the other thing. the drive will make him change and do some things not as natural to thim. >> if he ip wins there's going
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to be a fascinating moment after the election. paul ryan says he the intellectual leader of the house barack obama wins the next day after trying to spit on paul ryan -- is he actually it turns congressman ryan we have some common ground i guess haven't been discussing these last couple of months. >> charlie:thank you jodi, thank you david. great to have you here. back in a moment. stay with us >> charlie:two jourm washington who know and love politics dan balz chief correspond ene.j. dionne our divided political heart. i am pleased to have both of them back on this program. the idea america has this balance between individualism and community. democrats have done that. that the republican somehow has shifted more. teal me where that debate might
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end up in this coming presidential election? >> well, i think it's at the heart of the argument in the election. i think from the beginning our country has been both these things. we have this healthy tension. we believe in community and doing things together. think that i ideologies, both parties had elements of both over the years. the republicans have moved to very different position. different from traditional cons ser have a tism. a sharply diminished role for government not like anything we have seen since the guilded age. they want to build up what has been a long consensus in our history from teddy roosevelt through reagan and george w. bush where they saw government doing certain things. bush prescription drug benefit and no child left behind. this election is a more fundamental choice than we have seen in the very lopping time.
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not unlike the gold water campaign where goldwater was out there with a hard position. obama mass a bad economy around his neck. underlying the cam bain is a deep philosophical. >> charlie:both people think they're on the winning side, do they not dan? >> you're absolutely right. both feel if the other side wins, it's the end of the america they believe in. if you go around and talk to people, so much of this is fear that the others might succeed. we did a polling project with the kaiser family foundation and one of the things it showed the deep division between the two parties, deeper than we've seen in many, many years. there was one question we asked and that is, do you believe that your values and your point of view is winning or losing? it was the only place where republicans, democrats and inched ep penitentiaries all
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agreed 60% he have each thought the other side was winning and they were losing. there's fear one way or another fundamental to each side is at risk. >> charlie:what's peculiar about that. >> i think dan's right is barack obama is fundamentally a balanced guy. this not an ultraleftist. some conservative think he is. many of the criticisms early on were that he wanted to be too accommodating to the republicans. his health plan is basically like mitt romney's plan and yet you you still have this perception on the republican side if they lose this election it's some great loss of the country. you wonder if thr some identity politics, things connected to that as well. >> charlie:let's assume for this question that romney losses, the republican party becomes what. >> that is great question. it could go a couple different ways. one is it could be a revival not
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moderation. the party is now main stream conservatives and hard right conservatives. the question is would it give more power back to the mainstream conservative? the other is if romney runs a campaign that the conservatives feel is not sufficiently robust and he got criticism from the right for an acceptance speech that they think was not robust enough in terms of laying out the ideological division. if that's the view you will have a situation we just didn't have the right conservative candidate and we have a whole crop of younger rising stars within the party who can articulate that in a stronger. >> charlie:marco rubio paul ryan chris kri at this. >> romney complicated that argument by putting paul ryan on the ticket. if he had picked more moderate conservative like rob port man
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thean that would have held a lot of water. it's going to be harder for them. some of it depends there are still some moderate conservatives in the party. some people in the senate in particular possibly even speaker boehner who are not fully happy with this direction and if they lose, especially if they lose significant number of seats in the house, that might create some questioning in the party whether this conservative path was right. in the primaries is in (pow where snt right. most of the -- >> charlie:the democratic party if president obama wins, how is it different than the democratic party than president clinton? >> in a lot of ways people talk about how different obama and clinton are. in so many ways thr similar. >> charlie:in temperament. >> they're very different in temperament. >> charlie:yes just established that. >> if you gave obama a shot of
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clinton empathy and clinton a shot of obama discipline, you would have the perfect democratic politician [laughing] >> they are both awesome in their ways but need the other. in terms of their philosophical view. i did an interview with obama in 2007 where he praised clinton for correcting the cost of the temmic party. there's going to be interesting arguments about how far should you go to reach a budget deal? how much should you give up? i don't think there's any clarity about how far obama will go and a lot of liberals will wonder will he give away too much. we may repeat some of the arguments. >> charlie, i think the democratic party has changed since bill clinton was president in many ways he would agreeith those changes because of what's happened with the republican party. >> charlie:it's moved from where to where. >> in the clinton sense, mr
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significantly new democratic party than have been to a somewhat more liberal or progressive party. not far left in a lot of ways but i think it has moved. there's certainly much more scep sism about trade issues than when bill clinton was president. i think the only real division we saw in 2008 primary between president obama and hillary clinton was over her war vote and on a lot of domestic policies there was not great disagreement. i think there was a shift during the '90s, during president clinton's time. the democratic leadership council on the rise. after the war the progressive part of the party and grass roots became a strong voice. i think that's melded into one. the question is, and i think it gets to the heart of what you're asking, whether obama wins or
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loss by 2016, what will this party look like? move back toward where it was under clinton? stay where it is. part that will depend on what the republicans are doing. >> i agree with dan on almost everything i find hard evidence of democrats moving to the left. people are looking at what are the fruits of that. you still have passed some trade deals. if you hook at the health care bill, this was a much more conservative bill than richard nixon's in the '70s so you're not seeing anything that radical or left from the democrats. there are frustrated progress rif with obama. >> i'm not saying it's a left wing party. i think that the balance of power or the locust of power shifted after president clinton because of the war. and how that affected the grass roots and the sentiment, the
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rise -- >> charlie:clinton will speak on wednesday night and you have said in 8 questions, number thee was, will bill clinton overshadow everwri one else? is there risk in that? >> i don't think he will. i think he will be a huge figure when he comes on stage wednesday night. le get an enormous reception as he always does. he is a shrewd and smart politician. he knows the role he is being asked to play hear and my guess is he will play it effectively. it is very hard to overshadow a a president at his own convention. >> that question has been asked about bill clinton since 1992 and other conventions. in some ways, the president's speech is most important but clinton's comes awfully close. he can speak to con stin went sis that obama can himself particularly white working class voters who are more in may
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because of who mitt romney. >> charlie:can clinton speak to them better than biden? >> i think clinton can speak to them better than biden because he speakings as the bill clinton who presided over a great economy. >> charlie:right. >> effective. biden is very effective with the people. >> charlie:organized labor. because of the trade and other issues. >> no, but he has a kind of trust among working class democrats. >> i think biden connects with those voters on a tbut level. >> charlie:yeah. >> i think clinton is still the best articulator of why the economic policies of this administration. >> charlie:and explain it better. >> barack obama win the working class and can he win catholics? >> i always say there is no catholic vote in its importance. they're classic 40-40 group. it's very hard for tem to get
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less than 40% and republican 40% but the march tbins matter. latinos are a huge part of the equation. in the end because of latinos i think obama will still carry the catholic vote this time overall. how much do these arguments over contraception affect him? at the margins, a little bit and i think the pressure from some of the hierarchy on obama and some mishandling of the catholic hierarchy by obama will hurt him a little bit. catholics have always been lunch bucket voters, particular little the swing catholics, they're economic voters. their votes in the end will be moved by the case obama can make about how he is going to move the country forward on economics better than romney. >> i don't know that president obama can do better with white working chas vote rs. even given governor romney's
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problems with that group because of his background. the reality is he doesn't have to. the demographics of this country are changing and they change election by election. there will probably a larger share of this elect temperature nonwhite. >> charlie:then you can make the the argument president obama is appeal to go america has become where as governor romney is appeal to go where america was? can you make it that clear? >> well our friend is an expert on all this basically said the obama coalition is the rising america. those constituencies. >> charlie:each case of the american. >> it's latinos, younger voters. and he does particularly well or better than many democrats have done in the past with very well educated white voters. >> i agree with all of that. the one state where the white
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working class really matters happens to be ohio which happens to be arguably the most porn state in the country along with pennsylvania which obama has to hold. even though the trends are exactly as dan describes owe ohio matters. >> and in ohio there's very little ee last tit in that electorate in comparison to in '04 and '08. the elect temperatures tbreu because of voter registration. you're fighting over the same pool of voters. it's a great battleground and laboratory for where we are. >> charlie:are all the undecided former obama voters? >> probably most of them are. >> charlie:there are that's why we had the appeal by governor romney in highs speech for those people who voted before trying to figure out how to make it comfortable to come over and chaipg their vote even though they had strong feelings
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and deeply felt the expectation they had from president obama. >> i felt those wrr the most effective lines at the convention. the question i have is almost this psychological question is that these people need comfort for changing their minds like it's a divorce? ill think people seriously but i'm not quite like that. one of the reasons they haven't gone all the way over to romney yet is a lot of those voters do know he inherited a very bad economy so they cut him some slack. a lot of those voters do have doubts about the direction romney wants to take. they did a very clever kind of psychological thing with them, reassurance, is it mainly about psychology or about circumstances and issues? >> charlie:i would bet that's part of the mission bill clinton has tomorrow night. >> absolutely. >> i think that's right. >> charlie:to get you two to agree with me thank you, dan.
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thank you, e.j. back in a moment stay with us >> form he were strt conducted more than 2,000 surveys and focus groups. i am pleased to have him back on this program. >> thank you. i am tired that's a lot of focus groups and surveys. >> charlie:give me your overall sense of where we are at the -- thank you the republican convention halfway through the democratic. >> dead even. chosest states barack obama one or 2 point lead. 46-46 race. barack obama has proven in this campaign he does understand people but he hasn't proven he can solve their problems. mitt romney has done a good job demonstrating he's a problem solving but hasn't been successful in demonstrating he gets those problems. that's why we're split split 50.
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>> charlie:is there an idea whose future they want to invest in. >> we asked that question and the answer is they really wanted barack obama to succeed. they believed in that hope and change. >> charlie:because of the picture, the narrative of barack obama. >> all of it. the communication skills. the problem is, what they see now. if you came to my sessions it would break your heart. it's no longer anxiety, it's depression, despair. they stopped being angry, now they're rieg to survive. they look at these 2 individuals and don't trust either of them. as bad as barack obama might feel, congress is hated more. >> charlie:hasn't that always been so. >> not cadaver if i had a 14% approval raifting and that's among people who killed him. we have kok to believe politics don't workt,

Charlie Rose
WETA September 4, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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